This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Up to date relevant legislation and policy'.

 
 
 
DWP Central Freedom of Information Team
Annex A 
 
e-mail: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.  
gov.uk
 
Our Ref: VTR137
 
 

20 January 2014
Annex A 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dear Beatrix Bene,  
 
Thank you for your Freedom of Information request received on 13 January 2014. You asked 
to be provided with ‘the most up to date written information / policy / legislation you hold which 
answer and relate to my following questions?
’ 
 
To put the format of this response into context I should first explain a little about Freedom of 
Information Act. The Act provides people with a right of access to recorded information already 
held by public authorities such as DWP. The Act does not extend to requests for views, 
comments or questions about a particular matter. A request can be in the form of a question, 
but DWP does not have to answer if this would mean creating information that is not already 
held in a recorded form.  
 
In the interests of customer service, if we don't hold recorded information that directly answers 
a question, we do our utmost to provide the recorded information we believe to be most closely 
related.  
 
Your questions along with our responses are set out below. 
 
1, The Jobseeker's Allowance Regulations 2013 came into effect on 29th April 2013. It states a 
35 hours per week jobsearch and work availability requirement and the fact that claimants can 
volunteer for maximum 50% of their work search requirement hours. 
 
Which claimants do the above legislation apply to? According to my Jobseeker's Agreement I 
have to be available for work for 40 hours per week and I do not have a weekly work search 
requirement time, like the above 35 hrs per week. I see it on internet forums that some JSA 
claimants have a 35 hours per week work search requirement. 
 
The start date of my claim is 31st August 2013. I was also claiming JSA 21st April - 19th 
August 2013. It is / was income-based JSA. 
 


I am finishing the Work Programme on 24th January 2014. When I finish it, will I have to sign a 
claimant commitment and will I have a set weekly number of work search requirement hours? 
Or the "old law" will apply: Jobseeker's Agreement and no set work search requirement hours? 
 
As regards which claimants the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations 2013 apply to, please see 
Regulation 1(3) which refers to Welfare Reform Act 2012. Links to both the Regulations and 
the Act are provided below. These links are provided in accordance with Section 21 of 
Freedom of Information Act which allows us to direct you to information already reasonably 
accessible to you.   
 
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/378/pdfs/uksi_20130378_en.pdf 
 
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2012/5/contents 
 
In essence, the Jobseeker’s Allowance Regulations 2013 apply only to those claiming ‘new-
style’ Jobseeker’s Allowance in areas where Universal Credit is introduced. 
 
The information we hold that will help you establish what will happen when you finish Work 
Programme is attached. That information is: 
  Post Work Programme Support (PWPS) Guidance 
  JSA Claimant Commitment Guidance (as referenced in PWPS guidance) 
 
This guidance should be read in conjunction with information about which Jobcentres have 
started to use the JSA Claimant Commitment; that information is published on the GOV.UK 
website and can be accessed via the link below: 
 
https://www.gov.uk/government/policies/simplifying-the-welfare-system-and-making-sure-work-
pays/supporting-pages/introducing-the-jobseekers-allowance-claimant-commitment 
 
 
2, Can my Jobcentre advisor ask me or mandate me to give up the voluntary work I do on my 
own account? I am planning to volunteer with the Citizens Advice Bureau as an Adviser 2 days 
a week which is under 17 hours per week to gain recent work experience and a reference to 
help me find a job. 
 
The recorded information we hold most closely related to your question is the ‘Claimants 
engaged in other activities’ chapter of Labour Market Conditions Guide which contains a 
section on volunteering; this guidance is attached.  
 
3, I completed 17 hours of voluntary work with Crisis at Christmas 23-28 December 2013 and 
currently not volunteering. I have seen your policy about the fact that JSA claimants who have 
recently completed some voluntary work or still volunteering are not eligible to be referred to 
the Mandatory Intervension Regime. Can / would I be referred to MIR if volunteering when 
assessed? 
 
In response to this question, please see the ‘Deciding between Jobcentre Plus Offer and 
Mandatory Intervention Regime’ section of the attached Post Work Programme Support 
Guidance. 
 

4, My new Jobcentre adviser keeps refusing to sign and date my job search evidence(ES4JP)I 
provide when I sign on fortnightly. Does she have to sign it? Does she have to sign it if I ask 
her to do so?  
 
The information we hold that is most closely related to these questions is Jobsearch Review 
Guidance; this guidance is attached. 
 
5, My Jobcentre advisers keep asking me to allow DWP access to my Universal Jobmatch 
Account. Do I have to? Can they mandate me to do so? Do I have to prove printouts of my 
Universal Jobmatch Account? Do I have to email my CV to the Jobcentre or provide them a 
hard copy to keep if asked? Can they mandate me to do so? 
 
The information we hold that will enable you to answer these questions is Chapter 3 of 
Universal Jobmatch Toolkit. Within the Toolkit, the following paragraphs may be of particular 
interest to you: 
  paragraphs 72 - 75  
  paragraphs 96 – 102  
  paragraphs 123 – 125 
  paragraphs 143 - 146  
 
A response provided to another Freedom of Information request submitted through the What 
Do They Know website is also pertinent to your request; a link to that particular case is 
provided below: 
 
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/are_there_any_circumstances_when#incoming-
439905 
 
6, I live-in a house share with random tenants I do not know very well. Some of my food and 
some of my post has gone missing. Can I ask the Jobcentre in writing to send me letters 
recorded signed for to ensure the receipt of my Jobcentre notices / letters? Is the Jobcentre 
going to post me letters recorded signed for if I make a written request and I offer to pay for the 
extra costs the Jobcentre or its contractors incur? 
 
We hold no recorded information in relation to a claimant requesting that Jobcentre Plus send 
correspondence by recorded delivery. The recorded information we hold that is most closely 
related to your questions is an extract from Jobseeker’s Allowance Procedural Guidance which 
is copied below: 
 
Correspondence address 
A correspondence address is a secure address of a person the claimant knows, usually: 
  a friend;  
  a relative; or sometimes  
  the Jobcentre address. 
Using the Jobcentre address as a correspondence address is not the same as a personal 
issue (PI). 
A post office must never be used as a correspondence address. 
 
 

7, I have seen it on the internet that from April 2014 there will be a new scheme called Help to 
Work Scheme under which long-term unemployed JSA claimants may be mandated to do 
unpaid work for up to 30 hours per week for 26 weeks (community work placements). 
 
Can I be mandated to do the above unpaid community work if I do voluntary work of my own 
choice which the Jobcentre knows about and which I have started already when being 
assessed whether to be mandated to do the above unpaid community work? 
 
The department holds information on Help to Work Scheme but this is exempt under section 
35 of the Freedom Of Information Act. This exemption relates to the formulation of government 
policy. I consider that the exemption applies because it is intended to protect the space within 
which government can think and develop its policies without prejudice. I maintain that the 
information you seek falls into this category. 
 
As required by the Act, I have also considered whether the balance of the public interest 
comes down in favour of not complying with your request. I consider that there is no 
overarching public interest argument in favour of releasing this information for the following 
reason: 
 
The Act acknowledges that good government depends on good decision making and therefore 
needs space in which to formulate policies based on the best advice available with full 
consideration of all the options. Ministers also need to be able to conduct rigorous and candid 
risk assessments of their policies and programmes including considerations of the pros and 
cons without there being premature disclosure which might close off other, better options. 
 
If you have any queries about this letter please contact me quoting the reference number 
above.   
Yours sincerely,  
 
 
DWP Central FoI Team 
 
 
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Your right to complain under the Freedom of Information Act 
 
If you are not happy with this response you may request an internal review by e-mailing freedom-of-information-
xxxxxxx@xxx.xxx.xxx.xx or by writing to DWP, Central FoI Team, Caxton House, Tothill Street, London, SW1H 
9NA. Any review request should be submitted within two months of the date of this letter.  
 
If you are not content with the outcome of the internal review you may apply directly to the Information 
Commissioner’s Office for a decision. Generally the Commissioner cannot make a decision unless you have 
exhausted our own complaints procedure. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information 
Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk